Obama bared his soul in Seoul yesterday.
Except, he didn’t mean to.
It was a flub.
A big one.
Speaking to soon-to-be-booted-out Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, a hot mic caught Obama revealing a secret agenda for Russia (after claiming he’ll be re-elected this fall):
Obama: “On all these issues, but particularly missile defense, this, this can be solved but it’s important for him [Putin] to give me space.”
Medvedev: “Yeah, I understand. I understand your message about space. Space for you…”
Obama: “This is my last election. After my election I have more flexibility.”
Medvedev: “I understand. I will transmit this information to Vladimir, and I stand with you.”
(Did you catch the body language between the two presidents…?)
Obviously, Obama and Medvedev didn’t know the world would hear their exchange. By the way, Putin (recently elected under dubious procedures) is expected to appoint Medvedev as Russia’s Prime Minister.
› Governor Romney addressed Obama’s telling revelation yesterday while speaking to an audience in San Diego, CA and talking to CNN’s Wolf Blitzer. Hugh Hewitt also got The Gov’s take on it. LISTEN TO AUDIO of Hewitt’s interview here.
HH: So the President says, Governor Romney, this is my last election, after my election I have more flexibility. And President Medvedev says I understand, I will transmit this information to Vladimir. Your reaction, Governor Romney?
MR: Well, it is revealing, it is alarming, it’s troubling, it suggests that the President has a very different agenda with the Russians than he’s willing to tell the American people. And for that reason alone, we ought to vote him out of office. This is a very disconcerting development.
HH: What do you think he has in mind, Governor, when he says I will be flexible? Is it missile defense? It is the number of our warheads? Is it Iran? What is he talking about?
MR: Well, he says missile defense, but we’re talking about one of those two issues, either missile defense or warheads. What he’s done on warheads, of course, with the new START Treaty, he took warheads down to 1,500 on strategic nuclear weapons. Of course, the Russians were already at 1,500. They didn’t have to have any reductions. We were at 2,200. So the only reduction in his missile defense treaty was a reduction at the U.S. level. And of course, he ignored the tactical nuclear weapons, which are of course the same nukes. They’re just on smaller rockets. He ignored that, where Russia has an advantage of five or ten to one over us. So this is a president who continues to try and appease and accommodate, and believes that the best interests of America are to bow to the interests of Russia. And it’s very, very troubling, and I mean, I’m very disturbed by this. I hope the American people understand that what we heard from the President is revealing about his character in terms of what he tells the American people, and revealing about his direction and sentiment with regards to Russian, which is after all our number one geopolitical foe. They don’t represent a military threat to us at the present, but they oppose us at every turn in the United Nations, and oppose us in every one of our efforts, whether in Iraq or Iran, North Korea. They’re on the other side. And for him to be cozying up with them with regards to missile defense is simply unacceptable.
HH: How do you expect this aside from the President will be understood in Poland and the Czech Republic, and Ukraine, and Georgia, and other front line states facing a newly-expansive Russia?
MR: Well, I think our friends around the world have been reevaluating their relationship with the United States, in part because of this president’s treatment of friends relative to the treatment of enemies. I’ve heard from more than one foreign leader that it seems to be preferable to be an American foe than an American friend to this president.
HH: Now Governor Romney, the press will of course attempt to dismiss this as not a big issue. Will this remain a front line issue? And do you think that the President has got to spell out with great detail what he has in mind here?
MR: You know, I don’t think he can recover from it, to tell you the truth. I mean, I think he will try and spin something. But I don’t know how you spin from an open mic, where you’re talking about having more flexibility after the election, which means quite clearly that you don’t want the American people to hear what you’re really planning on doing, and that you’re going to be able to do more when you no longer are accountable to the American people. You know, the mainstream media may try and put this to bed, but we’re going to keep it alive and awake. And we’re going to keep hammering him with it all the way through November.
Full transcript may be found here.
› Here’s video of Romney discussing Obama’s comments with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer (The Situation Room):
Text and UPDATES are included below the fold.
WB: “Alright, in case you didn’t hear it, this is my last election, after my election, I have more flexibility. That is a factual statement that the President is making. If he doesn’t have to worry about getting reelected, he doesn’t have to worry so much about domestic politics. Is there anything wrong, when it comes to national security issues, to be saying something like that to the Russian leader?”
MR: “Yeah. There’s something terribly wrong with that. It is alarming; it is troubling, the agreement that the President put in place with regards to nuclear weapons is one which I find very, very troubling already. The decision to withdraw our missile defense sites from Poland put us in greater jeopardy in my view; the actions he’s taken so far which he says are to reset relations with Russia have not worked out at all. Russia continues to support Syria, supports Iran, has fought us with the crippling sanctions we wanted to have the world put in place against Iran. Russia is not a friendly character on the world stage and for this president to be looking for greater flexibility, where he doesn’t have to answer to the American people in his relations with Russia is very, very troubling, very alarming. I’m very, very concerned; I think the American people are going to feel the same way. This is a president who was telling us one thing and doing something else and is planning on doing something even more frightening.”
This is a colossal reminder of Obama’s penchant to keep his real agenda hidden. He duped too many Americans three years ago; it’s his method of operating. Another four years, without the constraint of reelection, is a gift we must not give him.
The Obama machine is cranking. The sooner the GOP primary ends, the better we’ll be prepared to defeat him.
Those who care about America’s future must rally around Romney now.
› UPDATE: Medvedev is now criticizing Governor Romney for his real concern about Obama’s post-election Russian flexibility. Carol Platt Liebau (Townhall.com) says this:
Frankly, if Medvedev truly favors Obama — as he’d be rational to do, given the President’s apparent amenability to concessions after he’s reelected — he’d probably help him more by staying silent. The American people realize that Medvedev and Putin are not champions of American interests, but of their own. To the extent they favor one American candidate over another, that signals they believe their favored candidate, President Obama, will be weaker in his dealings with them.
Indeed, President Obama’s whispered promises to Medvedev are chilling because they signal clear duplicity in his dealings with the people he’s sworn to represent. What’s almost equally chilling is that he apparently feels more comfortable being frank about his intentions with a foreign leader than he does with his own countrymen.
› Today, Romney’s foreign policy advisers penned An Open Letter to President Obama: President Obama’s Comments Raise Even More Questions About a Possible Second Term:
Dear Mr. President,
We live in a dangerous world. American strength and American constancy are critical to the preservation of peace. Too often, the United States under your leadership has been neither strong nor constant. Your inadvertently recorded remarks to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in South Korea raise questions about whether a new period of even greater weakness and inconstancy would lie ahead if you are reelected.
Here is a transcript of the exchange, which leads us to a number of important questions that demand answers:
President Obama: On all these issues, but particularly missile defense, this, this can be solved but it’s important for him to give me space.
President Medvedev: Yeah, I understand. I understand your message about space. Space for you…
President Obama: This is my last election. After my election I have more flexibility.
President Medvedev: I understand. I will transmit this information to Vladimir.
What do you mean by “flexibility?” Flexibility to do what?
In addition to these broad questions, your words to President Medvedev raise more specific questions on a range of issues.
Missile Defense: Your administration has cut our missile defense budget, linked the New START treaty to our missile defense capabilities, and abandoned plans for missile defense sites in Poland and the Czech Republic without extracting concessions from Russia. Should the American people expect more efforts to placate Russia by weakening the missile defense systems that protect us and our allies?
Iranian Nuclear Weapons: In your speech to AIPAC, you said you “don’t bluff” when it comes to the Iranian threat. But your administration has delayed and opposed crippling sanctions in its first three years, repeatedly talked down the effectiveness and advisability of the military option, and openly discouraged Israel from acting in its own self-defense. Would post-election “flexibility” lead you to revive your “no preconditions” engagement policy with the Iranian regime?
Israeli-Palestinian Dispute: According to the Palestinian foreign minister, your administration told the Palestinian Authority to wait until the election is over for further action on the Israeli-Palestinian dispute. Over three years you have pressured the Israelis to grant one-sided concessions to the Palestinians, demanded that Israel accept the 1967 lines as the starting point for negotiations, and lobbied Congress to restore U.S. taxpayer funding to a United Nations body that has recognized a Palestinian state. Will post-election “flexibility” lead you to undermine Israel further?
[. . .]
The Castros and Chavez: Your administration has relaxed sanctions on the brutal Castro regime in Cuba and has done little to counter the growing influence of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez throughout Latin America. Would post-election “flexibility” lead you to take an even softer line toward these authoritarian regimes?
Defense Budget: Your administration has proposed cutting $487 billion from the defense budget over 10 years and supports a budget process that may bring that number up to nearly $1 trillion. While spending explodes elsewhere in the budget, would post-election “flexibility” lead you to impose even deeper cuts that will cripple our military?
[. . . ]
► Jayde Wyatt